Machu Picchu Without A Tour
I think every traveler in the world has Machu Picchu on his or her bucket list! If it’s not, it should be because it is a total adventure to get to the top of this wonder of the world. In Cusco, there are a lot of different tours that you can book to accomplish this dream. You can actually do it by yourself very easy in 3 days with an $80 USD budget.
1st Day: You take the bus from Cusco to Hidroelectrica. You can get a round trip ticket for $65 soles. The buses leave from Plaza de Armas at 7:00 AM and arrive to Hidroelectrica at 2:00 PM. You can eat in the area, as there are several $10 soles menu options. After you eat, you must do a 2 hour trek to get to Aguas Calientes, were you will spend the night. You can find hostels around $15-$30 soles. They are very weird but they exist. Usually the rest of the accommodations are very expensive.
2nd Day: Travelers wake up very early so they can start their walks at 4:00 AM to the start of the Machu Picchu trek. The entrance opens at 5:00 AM and by then, there are 100 people waiting to get in. After almost 2 hours, you finally get to the official entrance of Machu Picchu! It’s important that you get your tickets before you get to the en trace. You can get them either in Aguas Calientes or Cusco. I very much recommend that if you pay for the ticket, let it include Wayna Picchu. You can see Machu Picchu in less than 2 hours, even if you hire a tour guide that you can find by the entrance. To get to Wayna Picchu, it’s another 2 hour trek. Nobody really knows but the whole day, you may climb 3,000 stairs (if you do Wayna Picchu). It’s hard but the view totally worth it.
Around 1 pm you are ready to go back to the town. There are 2 restaurants near the entrance but they are super expensive. It is much better if you bring enough water with you and some sandwiches and snacks. Rest a little bit because on the way back, it will take you another hour to finally arrive to Aguas Calientes. There are buses every 15 minutes from the Machu Picchu entrance to Aguas Calientes, but they are expensive.
3rd Day: The bus back to Cusco leaves at 2:30 PM from Hidroelectrica, so you must do the trek back again for 2 hours. After you take the bus, you are back to Cusco around 9:30 PM and you will be ready to rest!